The School Counseling Program requires 18 courses, two field experiences – practicum and internship, and a comprehensive exam.
Course requirements and sequencing can be seen under the “Requirements” drop down menu.
Our curriculum map shows how each course in our program is tied to a program objective and each program objective fits within a program goal and Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) professional domain. Further, the learning objectives of each course are in alignment with the Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs (2008).
College & Career Readiness
Our program recently added a course to the curriculum titled, “College & Career Readiness” which increased our required credit hours from 48 to 51. Although the Utah State Board of Education does not require this course for licensing, we felt this course responded to national trends and state legislation that emphasize college and career readiness for all students. Adding this course to our curriculum will also enhance the competitiveness of our graduates on the job market and their ability to respond to calls for social justice and reform in the educational system. Moreover, this course is one of the three required components of a new “College & Career Readiness” certificate offered to school counselors by the Utah State Board of Education.
CLINICAL FIELD PLACEMENTS
Clinical field placements allow students to translate theory, research, and content knowledge into practice and are a required component of Utah school counselor educator programs. First year students complete a one-semester practicum (100 hours) and second year students complete a two-semester internship (600 hours). Both the practicum and internship need to occur in a K-12 public school following the Utah Comprehensive Counseling & Guidance Model and be supervised by an on-site licensed school counselor who has been practicing for two or more years. Both experiences are also linked to courses.
For non-thesis programs, the Graduate School requires a comprehensive exam. Students in the School Counseling Program take the PRAXIS Professional School Counselor exam as their comprehensive exam which is also the licensing exam required by the State of Utah. This test measures whether entry-level school counselors have the standards-relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities believed necessary for competent professional practice. The School Counseling Program owns PRAXIS study materials and has them available for students to check out in Salt Lake City and St. George. Further, the School Counseling Program pays for each student to purchase online practice tests.
Students take the PRAXIS early in the Spring of their 2nd year. They must receive a score of 164 or higher to be considered a “pass.” This score is also used as the minimum score for licensure in the State of Utah. Thus, when our students graduate, they will have already passed the professional school counselor licensing exam. We submit their PRAXIS score to the Utah State Board of Education along with our recommendation paperwork.